Lance Archer recalls WWE telling him he was not big enough and that he should cut his hair
Chris Van Vliet welcomed AEW’s Lance Archer as his guest this week to his YouTube channel and podcast.
Archer was on to talk about what made him sign with AEW, opponents he is looking forward to facing, his time in WWE as “Vance Archer,” the meaning behind “Everybody Dies,” how he came up with the Murderhawk Monster nickname, his favorite matches in NJPW and much more.
Check out the transcribed highlight below and scroll down to watch the full interview.
Lance Archer explains the meaning of “everybody dies”: “I always say, everybody dies, and people say does that include you and I say yes, but I just have to be last. I’ve been around the world in this business. There have been a lot of opportunities that have stepped in front of me that I didn’t take full advantage of so there is that underlying meaning to everybody dies. It means everybody’s career ends at some point. I’ve been lucky and blessed over 20 years now and still going strong at a top level with a top company in the business. I’m beyond blessed. But, at some point, it will come to an end. I don’t know when and I don’t plan on it being anytime soon, but this has been my biggest and best opportunity in the business with the waves AEW is making in wrestling.”
Lance was asked if he knew he was going to be partnered with Jake Roberts when he signed with AEW: “I did not know that when I signed on. Before everything shut down, they came to Austin, TX and I went down there and had some conversations. That was when the idea was first brought up. There were a couple different options. Jake and I seemed to be the best fit. Jake being Jake and the legend he is has that ability to go out there and cut the promos he can cut. For me, I have been out of the U.S. market for nearly a decade at that point, he was a perfect tool in that aspect to help reintroduce me to the U.S. audience because people know the legend that is Jake “The Snake” Roberts. They know when he gets on the microphone, you are paying attention. You are listening. If he is talking well about me, you want to know what Lance is about.”
Lance discussed his conversation with WWE in 2000: “Around 2000, WWE asked how tall I was. I said 6ft 6in. They asked how much I weighed. I told them 210 which I was at the time. They said, ‘yea, call us back when you’re around 250 or 260.’ Without saying it, they were letting me know I needed to do some stuff to get bigger.”
Lance told us about his FCW experience: “It was a confidence level I did not have in myself not understanding who I was or how I should be or how I should present myself. Japan helped me discover myself. AEW is benefiting from that. I finished up with TNA on a Tuesday. My contract went null and void on a Wednesday. I was down in Tampa for a tryout on Thursday and had a contract in my hand within a week. I literally had no time in between my TNA and WWE stuff. Going to FCW was good for me. Some people said I should be going straight to TV. Once I got there and then understanding how they do business, especially back then, being in FCW was very valuable to me, but I still didn’t have the confidence. FCW existed in obscurity. When I debuted on their ECW product, I had short hair, no facial hair, no jacket, nothing. That was decided five minutes before the doors opened. I had hair down to the middle of my back, a goatee, and I had this big bad ass biker jacket I wore. I had this image and this personality and this mentality in FCW that was from my understanding was the reason why I got brought up. But, literally 5 minutes before doors opened, I’m standing in the ring and Vince and Johnny were talking to each other. I didn’t know what they were saying. Then Johnny said, ‘Hey kid, come here.’ I said what’s up. He said, ‘Cut your hair.’ I asked if I was on TV tonight. He said yes, so I said, ok, whatever. I chopped my hair off and shaved my face and they had me lose the jacket. I say I became “big guy #3″ that day on the video game. You can’t help but be shaken by that to a small degree because it’s not like we are doing all this and this is the direction we need you to go. It’s just like, nope, cut your hair, shave your face, lose the jacket, go. I’m like, what do you want me to do? They said, “I don’t know. That’s for you to decide.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription